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Discussion in 'Non-League Football' started by Cartman, Apr 17, 2019.
Good crowd of 42k for the finals at Wembley.
You have to build from the bottom.
Imagine you were a builder, let's call you Clive, and you tried to build a house from the top to the bottom instead of putting foundations in and building from the bottom to the top.
Your house would be an absolute shambles, especially if you only budgeted £60psf to build it.
I’m not Clive, I’m Stan.
Clive was just the name I picked for the builder I used in my analogy.
Ok Clive, calm down.
Yeh but what if as @Soup Ladle says, those foundations are made of plastic grass?
If the lower leagues are the foundations of a building, sadly the top is being held up by scaffolding. Gold-plated scaffolding though.
My homage to Clives everywhere
I don't really understand why England's lower leagues are so overrated!
I've noticed that Championship teams have fans and usually somehow fill their stadiums with over 15.000 people! Here in Greece, the average attendance in the SuperLeague Greece (1st tier) barely touches 5000 and only the top 4 clubs (AEK, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, PAOK) have a real fanbase!
Do you know who would care about a 5th tier in most countries? No one! Yet, Wrexham and Leyton Orient this season had an average attendance of 5000, which is higher than the attendance in many other top leagues in Europe!
Our 5th level is fully amateur, just like in every European nation, while the National League is considered professional, I believe. This is a result of the strict organisation in England and the good financial situation of the clubs? Just for the record, in our 3rd tier, many teams withdraw before the season even starts and many of them face serious deductions ( a team in our second tier last year was relegated with...-51 points, not 51, minus 51!!!) and many teams quit in the middle of the season or usually can't even pay their players!
Firstly the football is a decent standard, secondly I just think the English are a bit mad. For instance I went on holiday to Croatia a couple of weeks ago and attended a 3rd tier match.
Some of it has to do with top level and league football being so expensive, I attend a lot of non-league football and find quite a lot of the crowd are supporters of Premier league and football league clubs but can't afford to go but still want to watch football. That being said you may also be shocked at the prices of non-league, tier 10 can be £5-8 for an adult ticket, in Croatia I paid £2 for myself and my two kids, I was amazed.
St Albans is usually £10-15 for an adult and that is the tier below the Conference/National league.
Like Kim says people might just want to go and see a game of football and they know the quality might not be as good but still get some decent youngsters or ex top level footballers in action.
Also some feel its better and more appealing in terms of that there might be less cheating/gamesmanship and the players aren't on silly money for sitting in the stands each week -
Fans will feel more connected to the non-league side than the Premier league billionaires and the top clubs who are so much about the money nowdays.
Add to that there's more emphasis in this country on supporting your local side hence why the lower leagues are strong and well attended. Possibly only Germany and at a push the Netherlands have a fan culture like that.
I was in Italy recently, touring round for a few weeks. Went down south to Puglia and in that region there are two big clubs, Bari & Lecce. Up in the north some Italians told me that Italy is full of glory hunters so I wanted to test that theory out. Went out to a couple of pubs in a small town in that region and asked people who they support "Juve", "Inter". "Why?" I asked, "it's the same all over Italy" they said. F*ck's sake both these clubs are around 800 miles from there!! Out of around 12 I asked, 2 said Lecce and 1 Bari. One or two for Napoli (which is semi acceptable for that region). Kind of smashed my romantic view of Italian football from watching Gazetta Football Italia as a kid! They do go and watch Serie B and C games but aren't all that interested in it, just to get a fix.
So in answer to the Greek poster, English fans are generally a lot more tribal and will stick to their shite lower league side like mine through thin and even thinner.
I'm not sure the football is a decent standard at all, at least technically. When I lived in Russia I used to go to a lot of second tier games their lowest pro level) and the standard was a lot better than what I'd seen in L2 let alone the National League. Same in Holland. L1 is a decent level overall but L2 and the NL isn't at all. Lots of strength, organisation and reasonably high fitness levels comparatively but aside from that it's pretty dreadful.
We only cared about our Gamma Ethniki (3rd tier), when AEK Athens got relegated there, due to financial issues. There are also two clubs of Volos there that have a lot of local support, mainly because they once were in the first division.
We care a bit about our second division, but only to see which club will be promoted!
I should have said a decent standard organisation and fitness wise, I agree technically it's not great, but then that is an English/British issue. The 3rd tier Croatian game I went to see was Jadran Porec (9th) v Dubrava Zagreb (2nd) and the technical skill on show was superb. However everything else, not so much, I would take a National League side like Hartlepool to beat both of those teams in a game.
As you also said only the Germans can match us for decent support of lower leagues, it's the only other country I've watched football in and found fellow madmen who travel hundreds of miles to not only follow their side away but exiles who follow their home side live.
I think a lot of this has to do with the origins of the sport in the countries. England and Germany had regionalised leagues when the game first took hold and that encouraged good numbers to travel around supporting their sides. The likes of Italy and Spain started as national leagues and basically didn't have away fans. That fan culture has just continued where it's become an ingrained thing for the English and the Germans to keep following their teams whereas you are laughed at in the likes of Spain for travelling more than 30 minutes to watch a football match.
Well, not only did we stay up, we nearly finished top half of the table in the end.
I think we will be ok again next season but without the relegation battle.